Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Memories are Made of This.

My older son served twice in Africa in the Peace Corps. The second stint was in Madagascar. He has preserved many memories of that beautiful country, both in words and in photographs.

Here he seems to be holding a salamander of sorts, but there is a story of him carrying a lemur on a bus for several hours to re-house it in a National Park. My husband has put together a number of Al's letters, photos etc. in a booklet called The Red Isle. We sometimes see comments on his Facebook page written in Malagasy. (Malagache?) I wrote here about one of his most poignant accounts, the tombstone of a French soldier.

One reminder of his two years in Madagascar is a photograph that sits on our piano. The Peace Corps had a competition for photographs showing how women were contributing to the economic development of their country. I believe Al's was a (the) winning photo.

A group of women planting rice. This is the posture I have always used when weeding. My husband always said women are built this way, while men kneel, and he kept offering me a rubber mat (which I only used when wearing a skirt.)

This summer I suffered badly from vertigo and instability. I would get into bed at night and the walls would go round and round. The neurologist sent me for yet another neck MRI followed by an ENG and then a VR something or other. When I had mastered the alphabet I landed up having some real or imagined chrystals shaken up in my ears. I had to sleep upright in a chair for two nights and I was supposed to sleep on my right ear. No improvement and although I was supposed to go back—I didn't.

This whole business manifested itself badly when I was trying to weed. I landed on my face in the flowerbed several times. Usually it was a toss up whether my body or the plants were hurt worse. At least the flowers couldn't drip blood.

So off I went to the hardware store. If the rubber mat was not acceptable, I thought this might be.

I now use this piece of landfill fodder as a seat while I bend over and weed. It works pretty well. I cannot claim I am contributing to the economic development of Grosse Pointe, but I have not fallen on my face. Yet.

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